Picturesque Landscapes: Haystack Mountain Echoes of Giverny's Harvest

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It’s not every day that a famous painting by Claude Monet ends up in a Sotheby’s auction. On May 15, 2024, at the Modern Evening Auction in New York City, several works will be featured by artists who challenged tradition by creating masterworks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that define art history as we know it today. Monet’s Meules à Giverny, which incorporates several hues with rich directional brushwork, in one of his most famous and beloved themes, the haystack, is an example of this new and modern vision of art which at the time was seen as innovative.

Claude Monet Meules a Giverny

Painted in 1893 using oil on canvas, this Impressionist masterpiece has been featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Copley Hall in Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Monet set up his easel in a meadow adjacent to his home in Giverny at the height of hay-making season. The result exemplifies the best of Monet’s bucolic Impressionism and was the last time Monet fully engaged with the subject of the large haystack.

While spending time in Rouen, France to paint the Rouen Cathedral, Monet wrote to his wife letting her know he was not a city person. It is thought that he missed Giverny deeply and that his homecoming and the desire to paint in Giverny is present in every brushstroke. Commonly known as his Haystacks, these paintings focus on the giant conical structures, often 10 to 20 feet high, which take over the harvested fields in France from the high spring onward.

These structures were composed of wheat or grain and were well thought out; stacked in such a way to prevent mold by allowing each stalk to dry. Once dry, the process of separating the grain’s stalk would begin using a threshing machine. Not every village had the financial ability to own one of these machines, and by the time the threshing machine made it to a specific location, months could have passed. Sometimes grain cut in the summer would not see the threshing machine until the beginning of the following year.

Haystack Mountain

It's also not every day that a land listing, that features a mountain in a well-known part of the United States, ends up for sale. Haystack Mountain, located in Boulder County, Colorado could very well be yours, and may be more attainable than one of Monet’s famed paintings.

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Its name is derived from its shape, a giant conical structure on 105 acres, and the property is listed by LIV Sotheby’s International Realty (LIV SIR) brokers Jeff Erickson and Ryan McIntosh for $9,500,000. Located at 5655 Niwot Road in Longmont, the land listing comes complete with 31 shares of Left-Hand Ditch water and mineral rights, and it can be divided into three separate 35-acre buildable parcels.

The property as it sits today has been with the current family for almost 60 years, but the land has a history that can be traced back to its roots when the early Native American tribes used its peak as a buffalo herd lookout. The surrounding area was a wintering location for the Arapaho tribe led by Chief Niwot, and the Cheyenne tribe used it as a key camping site. A woman, Mary Elizabeth Bader Arbuthnot, acquired the land from the U.S. government in the 1800s, becoming the first pioneer to own Haystack Mountain.

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The property has many possibilities as there isn’t a conservation easement. Options range from building your dream home with unprecedented views to running a small farm operation to separating and selling the individual 35-acre parcels to keeping the land as is, if conservation is a priority to the buyer.

For more information on Lot 11, An Eye for Impressionism: Property from an Important American Estate visit sothebys.com.

For more information on Haystack Mountain, please contact Jeff Erickson or Ryan McIntosh at 303.589.2741.

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